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World J Gastroenterol. 2008 Jul 21;14(27):4309-18.

Essential oil of Curcuma wenyujin induces apoptosis in human hepatoma cells.

Author information

  • 1Institute of Chinese Medical Sciences, University of Macau, Av. Padre Tomas Pereira, SJ, Taipa, Macao, China.

Abstract

AIM:

To investigate the effects of the essential oil of Curcuma wenyujin (CWO) on growth inhibition and on the induction of apoptosis in human HepG2 cancer cells.

METHODS:

The cytotoxic effect of drugs on HepG2 cells was measured by 3-(4,5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-2,5-diphenyltetra-zolium bromide (MTT) assay. DNA fragmentation was visualized by agarose gel electrophoresis. Cell cycle and mitochondrial transmembrane potential (Delta psi m) were determined by flow cytometry (FCM). Cytochrome C immunostaining was evaluated by fluorescence microscopy. Caspase-3 enzymatic activity was assayed by the cleavage of Ac-DEVD-R110. Cleaved PARP and active caspase-3 protein levels were measured by FCM using BD(TM) CBA Human Apoptosis Kit.

RESULTS:

Treatment with CWO inhibited the growth of HepG2 cells in a dose-dependent manner, and the IC50 of CWO was approximately 70 mug/mL. CWO was found to inhibit the growth of HepG2 cells by inducing a cell cycle arrest at S/G(2). DNA fragmentation was evidently observed at 70 mug/mL after 72 h of treatment. During the process, cytosolic HepG2 cytochrome C staining showed a markedly stronger green fluorescence than in control cells in a dose-dependent fashion, and CWO also caused mitochondrial transmembrane depolarization. Furthermore, the results clearly demonstrated that both, activity of caspase-3 enzyme and protein levels of cleaved PARP, significantly increased in a dose-dependent manner after treatment with CWO.

CONCLUSION:

CWO exhibits an antiproliferative effect in HepG2 cells by inducing apoptosis. This growth inhibition is associated with cell cycle arrest, cytochrome C translocation, caspase 3 activation, Poly-ADP-ribose polymerase (PARP) degradation, and loss of mitochondrial membrane potential. This process involves a mitochondria-caspase dependent apoptosis pathway. As apoptosis is an important anti-cancer therapeutic target, these results suggest a potential of CWO as a chemotherapeutic agent.

PMID:
18666318
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PMCID:
PMC2731181
Free PMC Article
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